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Pakistan joins land forces drill in Xinjiang
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-30 00:41

China and Pakistan are expected to hold their first ever joint land forces exercises in August, strengthening the resolve of both countries to fight terrorism, a Pakistani source told China Daily Thursday.

The exercises, which are expected to be held in the first half of next month, are not aimed at any other third party, said an anonymous official at the Pakistan Embassy, adding that Pakistan's "most advanced weapons" will be used.

The exercise will be in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, Northwest China's Uygur Autonomous Region, which is located on the Pamirs at over 4,000 metres, bordering Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Both China and Pakistan did not reveal any more details on the upcoming exercises, such as exact date, duration of the drill and number of troops.

The exercise is aimed to further strengthen co-operation between the two countries and armies, improve the capacity of jointly combating terrorism, and contain and crack down on the forces of separatism, extremism and terrorism, a Chinese military source said.

The exercise will also help promote bilateral co-operation in non-traditional security and maintain security and stability in the region, the sources said.

China conducted naval exercises with Pakistan at the coast of Shanghai, China's commercial hub, last October.

The drill, simulating an emergency rescue, was the first time either country had engaged in joint naval operations with another nation.

In their joint declaration signed last year, the two parties agree that separatism, extremism and terrorism pose serious threats to regional security and stability. They will actively support and facilitate substantial co-operation in combating separatism, extremism and terrorism with a view to safeguarding regional peace and stability.

In 2002, China set the principle of gradual participation in multilateral military exercises to broaden its security co-operation with other countries.

This principle was also put into practice by the frequent joint military exercises and high-level military co-operation.

Pakistan joined the international coalition against the war on terrorism and became a frontline state in this fight since the terrorist attacks on the United States in September of 2001.

China fully supports combating international terrorism and also expresses its complete support for Pakistan's principled policy to assist the international community in its fight against terrorism.

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